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SENATE HANSARD 03 MARCH 2021 VOL 30 NO 22

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 3rd February, 2021

The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

LOGGING IN ON VIRTUAL PLATFORM

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform the Senate that all Senators are required to log-in using their full names for identification purposes or indicate their name on the chat platform. This will assist officers in capturing their names on the attendance register.

I would also want to remind Hon. Senators that they must keep their gadgets on mute and only unmute when called upon to speak by the Chair.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until all the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Second Order Read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I debated last time but when I finished, they told me that they did not capture what I had debated. So, in that case, I do not know what is going to happen.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Tongogara, I am advised that you cannot debate again. However, what you can do is to submit what you want to talk about and it will be captured as an Addendum. So you can submit your contribution.

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to wind up the motion on the Presidential Speech. I would like to thank all those who debated on the very important motion.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: On a point of order.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: What is your point of order Hon. Sen. Mohadi?

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. I just want to register as a norm that if ever we debate the Presidential Speech, there is need for the Ministers to come and respond to the issues that we have debated on. I do not know whether that has been done?

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I did not catch the last part of your speech. Can you come again?

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I am saying that, as a norm, the Presidential Speech cannot be wound up before the Ministers concerned come and respond to what has been raised by Members of the Senate. I do not know whether it has changed or not.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Normally, the winding up of a motion is done after a Member has consulted the chief whip. Have you consulted the chief whip Hon. Sen. Chirongoma?

*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you very much Mr. President. I have not taken that step. My apology, I did not know the procedure. Thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: That is the normal procedure and I encourage you to do that. However, I am advised that Ministers were reminded through letters to respond. They have already been reminded to respond. A motion will only remain on the Order Paper for 21 days and now it is on day 19.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Mr. President, I think the Presidential Speech has more days than any other motion. The other motions are given 21 days.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Can we have the relevant section in the Standing Orders?

HON. SEN. KHUPE: Thank you Mr. President. I also wanted to say as far as I am concerned and judging by history, in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the motion on the Presidential Speech stayed until the session was about to end, that is when we were left with one or two months. It has never happened that it takes 21 days. I know it usually takes up to almost 10 to 11 months. That is my understanding. Thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Mr. President. I also want to express my view on this matter. I actually felt a bit ambushed this afternoon that they are putting closure to the debate on the Presidential Speech. There are a number of Hon. Senators, including myself who are preparing to debate the motion. I may not refer to any rule at the moment because I do not have the Standing Orders, but be that as it may, I would want to put a request to those who moved the motion to delay closure. There is still interest to debate the motion. Even if the 21 days are lapsing, I think there is a mechanism again within the rules that we can restore it on the Order Paper and that is where we should move. If there is a lapse, we bring it back and continue to debate. Thank you very much.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: My ruling on this issue is as follows; since we are not very clear on that, I am asking Hon. Sen. Chirongoma to adjourn the debate whilst we study it and we will have a final ruling tomorrow.

*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you very much Mr. President. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 4th March, 2021.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 47TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY SESSION OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM HELD VIRTUALLY IN NAMIBIA

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 47th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum held virtually on 9th October, 2020.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: Thank you Mr. President. I would want to contribute a few words thanking Hon. Sen. Mohadi for the motion that she brought into this House following the SADC Parliamentary Forum that was held in Namibia. I would like to commend what happened and say that when we are befallen by a pandemic such as the covid-19, Parliaments in SADC come together to come up with a sustainable solution to the pandemic. This pandemic hit us unaware globally, and was given the name COVID-19.

We do not know whether it was manufactured or it was God’s will. The Bible tells us that in the last days there will be diseases and people will die and we have witnessed it. We saw our Government taking measures to protect its citizens by the introduction of lockdowns as a control measure against the pandemic. I would like to thank our father, the Head of State and Government, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency E. D. Mnangagwa. A lot of people insulted him and despised the measures he had put in place to fight the pandemic. We lost some Members of this House to the pandemic. A lot of people died but the number of people who perished in this country cannot be compared to the number of people from other countries.

Now that the economy has been opened, we must not forget to continue wearing our masks and practice social distancing. We should not avoid vaccination. I was vaccinated recently and there are not any side effects up to this day. It was just a jab, there are no after effects. His Excellency does not force us; he pleads with us to take some time under lockdown, all being measures to protect us from the pandemic. I would like to also thank the chiefs because they played a vital role in the fight against the pandemic. All they did helped the nation to reduce the fatalities as compared to other countries.

I would like to thank churches in their numbers, even though they never congregate to pray, we understand that they were praying from their homes and we would like to thank them for their prayers for the nation. It helped us as a nation. We continue to say, let us protect ourselves. It is our wish that Government brings more vaccines. We understand the social media was awash with a lot of lies and fabrication regarding the vaccine, there is nothing of that sort.

We kindly ask Government to move in swiftly to bring the vaccine into the country so that everyone is vaccinated. We want to also remove the spirit of voluntary vaccination. We want to hear that everyone is vaccinated because when the disease comes, it kills everyone. A lot of people mock us for getting vaccinated, but we are saying to His Excellency, the President: we kindly ask to have everyone to be vaccinated despite who you are, race or background. Everyone should be vaccinated.

It was suggested that instead of having SADC Parliamentary Forum, there should be a Parliament of African countries. This is a good idea because we will speak one language as African countries. We will have one resolution despite diversity in our languages when we come together as SADC Parliaments. All I would like to say is let us continue to work but continue to adhere to the rules and regulations as stipulated by the World Health Organisation. We heard of the variant coming from South Africa of the COVID-19, we should not fear anything because we pray to a living God. We pray that wave should not affect anyone in this country. With those few words, I thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 4th March, 2021.

MOTION

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARIANS NETWORK ON DEVELOPMENT (APNODE) HELD IN ABIDJAN

Fourth order read: That this House takes note of the Report of the Zimbabwe Delegation to the 5th Annual General Meeting of the African Parliamentarians Network on Development Evaluation (APNODE) held from 28th to 30th August 2019 in Abidjan, Cote D’ivoire.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 4th March, 2021.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE VIRTUAL EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION (IPU)

Fifth order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Extraordinary Session of the Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity. I want to congratulate the Parliament of Zimbabwe which was led by our Speaker of the National Assembly. There were elections and there were four candidates who were participating for the post of the presidency for IPU. Through the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe supported the candidature of Hon. Pacheco for IPU Presidency.

It did not just end there. After Zimbabwe had supported the candidature of Hon. Pacheco, it went to the SADC PF where the SADC PF also supported this motion on the 49th Plenary Assembly which took place from the 9th to the 11th of October. When IPU met during their meetings, the four candidates were brought to the meeting but Hon. Pacheco gained 97% of the vote. I congratulate Hon. Pacheco for becoming the President of the IPU for the next three years.

During that meeting, there were a lot of issues that were debated when the Parliaments were giving their reports. One of the issues that were debated was about climate change. In Zimbabwe, we have already seen what climate change has done to us. Let me just tell you of the present situation that we are in at the moment. Each and everyone is very happy because it has been long since we had such amounts of rainfall that we are having this year. To us that is part of the climate change.

If my memory still serves me well, we last had such rains in 2000 and from there, some places in Zimbabwe were experiencing droughts here and there. People in our part of the country were relying on importing staple food, which is maize. However, for this year, all those who had time to get into their fields or farms will never go to any shop to buy mealie-meal because they have sufficient food – that is climate change.

Under the normal season of the SADC region, we know that our farming programme or the rainy season starts between October and November and ends between January and February. However, we are now in March and we are still having plenty of rains. Some are even blaspheming saying those that have got the keys of the rains, maybe have lost the keys. The continuous rains have damaged some property and in some parts people are very happy because even those on live stock production are also very happy. There is enough grass for grazing of their livestock this year.

Mr. President, I will not finish everything but I also want to touch on the issue of development and achieving our SDGs. When I talk of the rains and food that we are going to get, you will find that it is a great achievement because no country can develop when its people are starving or importing food. All the resources of that country will be used to import food for the nation because people cannot be left to die of hunger. As a result, some of the developmental projects will not take place.

When we talk about development, our President is planning ahead with so many developmental projects lined up so that when we get to the year 2023 we will have a lot of projects which will enable the country to survive and sustain itself. Looking at the irrigation schemes that are being revamped, it is a sign of development because this year we are not going to source food. All that we will get in the form of resources will be used here.

On the issue of youths and gender that was also debated – our youths if you can remember, as of now are engaging in a lot of projects. I want to thank the Government of Zimbabwe because we have banks for women and the youths whereby they can go and borrow loans to develop the country of Zimbabwe, which is a very good idea which we all support. The youths that we are talking about are the future leaders of tomorrow. They should be empowered by all means so that they can also progress. They will acknowledge us for having opened a way for them but if we do not do that, they will always curse us for not leaving any legacy for them because every parent who lives wants to leave a legacy for his/her children. Therefore, let us all get geared to leave a legacy for our youths.

On the issue of women, this is a thorny issue which keeps coming up. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail. I was looking at a graph of the elections of 2008, 2013 and 2018. It started with 19% women getting into Parliament, decreased to 16% and in 2018 we were at 14%. There is great room for the country to look at the issue of women. If we look at women, they are the majority in this country and they form 52% of the population. Even at the churches, you will see more women than men. The same applies to funerals and wherever you go. Even at the grassroots level, when they are doing their projects, most of them are women but when it comes to leadership, those women are nowhere to be seen.

There is need for us - as this report is talking about the Sustainable Development Goals and one of them is to attain 50/50 of women representation. I do not think we will ever achieve it if we do not talk about it. As we come to elections, women are nowhere to be seen yet they will have done all the ground work. Very few women get leadership positions, let alone in the highest hierarchy. We might have one woman or two women just as a decoration because if it comes to voting, that one woman cannot vote for all the women at the grassroots.

So, I find that this is a very important report and I urge other Members here to take seriously these reports because they are full of information. We have to debate robustly taking into consideration that all this is not just done out of nothing. We have to concentrate and give information to our people as representatives of people at grassroots level. They should also have the information that we are talking about which is not only from Zimbabwe but comes from different Parliaments. With these words, I thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 4th March 2021.

On the Motion of HON. SEN. CHIEF. CHARUMBIRA, seconded by HON. SEN. MOHADI the Senate adjourned at Twenty Past Three o’clock p.m.

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